The Volunteer Induction Process

Posted in Managing Volunteers

The Volunteer Induction is your opportunity to officially welcome and introduce the new volunteer to your organisation. The induction takes place on the volunteers first official day with the organisation. During the induction you should: 
  • Introduce the new volunteer to staff and existing volunteers
  • Give a tour of the facility
  • Prepare an induction pack
  • Provide an overview of your organisation, its mission and history, give an outline of the services you provide, cover your day-to-day work and how the volunteer and their role benefits the organisation and its service users
  • Review the volunteer role description and clarify the work they will be doing
  • Read and sign off on the Volunteer Agreement which may outline the following:
  • The expectations of the organisation e.g. confidentiality, aims and ethos of the organisation, time keeping, training, code of conduct, dress code etc.
  • The expectations of the volunteer e.g support and supervision, reimbursement of expenses, access to grievance procedure etc.
  • Agrees the start and end date of the volunteer role
  • States the name of the volunteer supervisor
  • Agree a trial period e.g. 6 weeks
  • Introduce the volunteer to your organisation’s Volunteer Policy.

Once the volunteer has attended their induction day they may still need to attend formal or informal training. Training is the process of equipping volunteers with the necessary skills needed to fulfill their role. The most successful volunteer programmes take the time to train their volunteers. But you might wonder what are the benefits to your organisation in training your volunteers.
Induction and training may benefit your organisation in the following ways:
  • Provides volunteers with the skills to do their role
  • Builds trust in your volunteers and therefore your organisation with service users
  • Helps with volunteer recruitment as volunteers may want to learn the skills you have to offer
  • Training can be used as a volunteer selection tool
  • Gives you an opportunity to identify and deal with any problems or difficulties before they arise

Induction and training may benefit your volunteers in the following ways:
  • Builds the volunteers skills and increases confidence
  • Highlights difficulties a volunteer might encounter at an early stage and gives them tools to overcome these difficulties
  • Improves the volunteers job performance
  • Makes the volunteer feel more valued by the organisation and allows them to feel a part of the team
  • Training, in particular accredited training can enhance the volunteers’ CV